Leading independent law and professional services group Cains has been recognised by the crew of STS-133 who crewed the last flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery, for the firm's contribution to international space commerce. Cains' Director Andrew Corlett was presented with a montage depicting the final mission of the space shuttle Discovery by Nasa Astronaut Nicole Stott at a reception at Cains' Fort Anne headquarters on Wednesday 6 July.

The montage was created for Cains in acknowledgement of the firm's leading contribution in the development of the Isle of Man's space and satellite industries and depicts the shuttle crew's favourite memories of the mission.

Cains acts for some of the world's leading satellite operators and launch companies and the firm is an institutional member of the International Institute of Space Law. The Isle of Man is the headquarters for 12 space firms which are involved in work such as developing space tourism technology and satellite communications and the Manx government last month announced that income from the Isle of Man's space industry is nearing the £1bn mark.

Astronaut Nicole Stott of Nasa commented:

"It was a real pleasure to spend time with the people at Cains' and your families. We are impressed by Cains' involvement and support of the space industry on the Isle of Man, and as a space shuttle crew we were really happy to have the chance to share some of our space flight experiences with you."

Andrew Corlett, Director, Cains, said:

"We are honoured that our contribution to the development of the space industry has been recognised and would like to thank the crew. This represents an endorsement not only of the firm's work within the space sector but also the business friendly environment the Isle of Man offers space and satellite companies and its efforts to be at the forefront of the space commerce industry. We're delighted with the montage and to welcome the crew, and to be able to demonstrate the extensive expertise present here on the island."

The crew, Nicole Stott, Steve Bowen , Michael Barrett and Eric Boe attended the reception along with 150 others as part of a six-day visit to the Isle of Man as the guests of the Isle of Man government. The crew participated in a series of talks at secondary schools on the Isle of Man and attended official celebrations to mark Tynwald Day.

During their visit, on American Independence Day, the crew climbed North Barrule, the second highest peak on the island to pay their respects to and commemorate the United States Army Air Forces Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress which crashed into the Northern slope of North Barrule at the end of World War II.

The Isle of Man's pro-space policy led industry analyst Ascend to name it as one of the nations most likely to land the next person on the moon in 2010. The Isle of Man was also selected to host the Google Lunar X Prize Team Summit during the United Nations declared World Space Week in 2010 and has been hailed as an example for the UK to follow its approach to space commerce by London-based think tank The Economic Policy Centre. In February 2011 a report by the Futron Corporation entitled "Innovative strategies for space competitiveness: assessing the Space Isle's policy and results" described the Isle of Man as a "leader that consistently punches above its weight.

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